HOLDSWORTH, SANDWITH AND LEE HARPER REACTION
Holdsworth and Sandwith video interviews --->
Lee Harper audio interview ___>
Holdsworth left frustrated by late strike and officials
CHAD.co.uk, By John Lomas
DAVID Holdsworth was left frustrated as visitors Kettering Town stole a late point in a 1-1 draw at Field Mill tonight in a game dominated by the officials.
The Stags boss was furious with some of the decisions of Jez Simpson and his assistants but full of praise for his players who had come so close to a third win in four games.
He said: "The game really should have been put to bed by half-time. But ADVERTISEMENT like any league, you are always still in the game at 1-0.
"I felt we defended very well and the two centre halves played very well. We thoroughly deserved a clean sheet. They had one chance, though it was a good strike, when we should have been well and truly out of sight.
"But that's football, We've seen it a million times and it will happen again. We were by far the better side and the boys will be down as it feels like two points have slipped away.
"A second goal would have killed the game but it wasn't to be.
"We just needed a little bit more composure in the final third but I thought we played some outstanding stuff in the first half so I won't criticise the players for their effort.
"We played very well and battled and worked hard.
"Kevin Sandwith's goal was a fabulous strike and we know Kevin can do that. Our strikers had opportunities but couldn't execute them."
In fact Mansfield did appear to bag a second goal through Paul Connor only to be denied by an offside flag.
"I thought the left back played the boy on and it was a wonderful strike," said Holdsworth. "But the decisions seemed to go against us quite frequently tonight to put it nicely.
"I don't really want to comment further, I think the fans voiced their opinions. The referee is out there to do a job and he made some interesting decisions.
"I am upset with the fact that the sportsmanship of the game and the interesting things we had to deal with tonight were very child-like.
"The booking for young Luke (Medley) was one of the most ridiculous I have ever seen.
"I thought he did fine on his debut. He ran his legs off and got a bit tired, but showed signs of the power and pace he's got as well as a bit of maturity in bringing other players into play."
Paul Stonehouse missed the game with a thigh strain and Holdsworth added: "Paul is touch and go for Saturday. He wanted to play but you have to be sensible. He felt he got a slight tear when stretching on Saturday and we don't want him out long term. And we have an ideal replacement in Kevin (Sandwith).
Stags boss blames poor finishing for failure to land three points
DAVID Holdsworth blamed poor finishing for Mansfield Town's failure to land three points at home to Kettering last night.
The Stags looked to have scraped home thanks to a first-half strike from Kevin Sandwith before defending well in the closing stages.
But Moses Ashikodi denied them a first clean sheet of the season – and successive home wins – with a late equaliser as the match ended 1-1.
"We should have had three points. We should have put the game to bed in the first half, but at 1-0 they are always still in the game," said manager Holdsworth.
"We just needed to show a little bit more composure in the final third.
"The players will be down because it feels like you have let two points slip away but you have to take your chances in football.
"The good thing is we are creating chances and we defended very well.
"I can't fault their effort either, which I thought was outstanding and they battled hard. I thought they deserved a clean sheet."
Mixed emotions for Sandwith after goalscoring debut
DUBUTANT Kevin Sandwith had mixed emotions after his goal had appeared to give Mansfield Town victory until a late Kettering equaliser.
The left-back picked his spot in the top left-hand corner with a curling first half free-kick with 20 minutes on the watch.
As the Stags defended stoutly it looked to be the only goal of the game until substitute Moses Ashikodi struck three minutes from the end of normal time, giving the visitors a share of the spoils.
"It was nice to get a goal, just a shame that we couldn't hang on for the clean sheet and get the points – that's a major disappointment," said Sandwith.
"I got the goal from a free-kick against Hucknall in a friendly, but it means more when it is a game where something is up for grabs.
"I didn't really have to argue to take it – I decided it was going to be mine! Luckily enough it went in.
"They put us under a lot of pressure in the second half and we defended well, heading everything out of our box.
"But you have to say that the lad (Ashikodi) took his goal really well. It's just a shame we couldn't put our chances away in the first half and then that might not have mattered."
Now Sandwith is hoping Mansfield can go one better when Cambridge United visit Field Mill on Saturday.
He said: "I've no doubt Cambridge will be a good side when they come here but I believe if we perform as we can do we will be a match for anyone.
"We played some good football in the first half against Kettering, but in the later stages we just perhaps got a bit leggy."
Latest | September 2010